The present issue of Structure and Bonding is dedicated to applied group 13 chemistry, particularly for the elements boron and aluminum, and to a lesser degree gallium and indium. Although boron is a trace element (0.01 g kg 1) in the earth's crust, it has been concentrated in a few locations by geochemical processes and is relatively easy to mine as borax. Aluminum, on the other hand, is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust (82 g kg 1) and dispersed widely throughout the globe. Thus, boron and aluminum are readily available and their associated products or compounds are usually inexpensive and thereby easy to commercialize. The chapters were chosen to encompass both applied and fundamental aspects of their subiects. The first chapter 'Borates in Industrial Use' provides a complete, and perhaps, quintessential, coverage of compounds containing boron oxygen bonds. In the chapter Schubert explains the close relationship between the basic properties of the boron compounds and their associated uses. The remaining four chapters focus, to some degree, on aluminum.
Since a great deal of literature exists in this area, these chapters are more focused on areas of emerging utility, and contain a great deal of fundamental information. Uhl's contribution in Chapter 2 provides basic synthesis and structural information for aluminum and gallium hydrazides. These types of compounds are being explored as potential molecular precursors to metal nitrides such as the important blue green laser material gallium nitride.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG